Eldersberg: Here we see astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt collecting lunar samples during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. (The astronauts pounded a "drive tube" in the moonland to draw a core of material weighing about 800 grams.) The astronauts on the Apollo era painting landing missions brought many rock samples down to earth; These were vacuum sealed and have never been exposed to our atmosphere. Now NASA has decided to dispose of some of the last remaining samples, including samples from Apollo 15, which have been preserved in helium for nearly 50 years.
We have recently invited our farewell to Opportunity after its amazing 15 year service to explore Mars. This week, NASA released the last photo that the rover took ̵
Dig the extra 3D glasses out of a box and check out this weird object that NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew over last year's New Year. Before the spacecraft approached MU69, the team felt it was probably around. But after analyzing the images, the researchers believe that MU69 may have been beaten, dressed or changed. Astronomers do not have a good idea of what happened to MU69 yet, but at least now they have a better look at this antique rock 4 billion miles away.
This is your brain on Mars: HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been looking at this odd-shaped midline area on the red planet for a while, but scientists are still scratching their heads on what might shape such "brain terrain". It may have something to do with ice under the surface sublimating, that is, moving from solid to gas and leaving large troughs in the surface.
European astronaut Tim Peake captured this amazing light exhibition from the International Space Station in 2016. Auroras caused by highly charged Sun particles interact with the Earth's magnetic field. As electrons and protons rain down on our planet, the magnetic field acts as a barrier to protect the planet, and the interaction between the magnetic field and these subatomic particles creates arcs of green and pink and other colors in the sky. They are often visible at high latitudes, but as we can see, they are best seen from space.
Galaxies dance around the universe, but sometimes when space ballet dancers slide too close together, they merge. It is difficult to recognize what remains in a few galaxies, known as NGC 6052, about 230 million light years away. But in time, NGC 6052 will be gracefully a single, stable galaxy. (Let's hope that Hubble is still out to discover it.)